It’s a deal made in fast-food heaven: Restaurant Brands International , the corporate entity behind Burger King and Tim Hortons , is acquiring Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen for a whopping $1.8 billion.  Now in theory, that seems like a lot of money, but Mark Zuckerberg could by 35 of these and still be sitting pretty.

The companies confirmed Tuesday Feb 21st, that Restaurant Brands will pay $79 per share in cash to acquire the fried chicken and biscuit-focused chain. The price marks a 19% premium from the previous day’s close.

Restaurant Brands International said that it will finance the transaction with $600 million of cash on hand and a $1.3 billion financing commitment from J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo. Pending all customary closing conditions, regulatory sign-offs and shareholder approval, the deal is expected to close in April of this year.

The companies said that after the deal is complete, Popeyes will continue to be managed independently, but it will get to enjoy the “global scale and resources” that Restaurant Brands brings to the table.

In Popeyes, Restaurant Brands is getting a food group not currently represented in its existing brand portfolio — southern fried chicken and biscuits — and a 2,600-store footprint that is 98% franchised. Not only do investors generally favor franchise-heavy models because they are less capital-intense, but the 98%-franchised figure fits well with Restaurant Brands’ existing strategy: Burger King is nearly 100% franchised, and McDonald’s has certainly built an empire off this model as well.

This is another great example of great business finance operations.  Sometimes you have to pay a premium, and use leverage in order to expand ones footprint.  Market share is everything in this business, and in the fast food industry, the franchise model is where it’s at.  I’m excited to see where this goes, and if there will ever be any goofy hybrids of the businesses, wouldn’t that be a sight….A whooper and and bucket of chicken…